Have you ever wondered who Girl Scouts really are or why that $5 box of cookies is so worth it? As a troop leader, and with the help of some amazingly active scouts, I am going to crumble the cookie facts for you!

Who are we? Troop 71878, better known as 878, is a very dedicated and highly motivated group of young ladies, ranging from kindergarten up to seventh grade. We are one of many in our immediate area, but one of thousands in the Missouri Heartland Council-wide area that extends from the Ozarks, Joplin, Jefferson City, Rolla and all the way down to Cape Girardeau.

Fundraising is an extremely important part of Girl Scouts. Not only does it provide monetary growth, but it also helps the children learn so much! Daisy Scouts will be counting by fives, handling money, learning needs versus wants and basically coming out of their shells and into the world of customer service. Brownies will establish the art of “giving back,” goal setting and involving customers into decisions. Juniors will be discovering small business tactics, tracking sales, researching people and products and setting up community giving goals. Cadettes will be creating business plans, learning to increase customer base and learning about risk management, marketing and videography. This cookie business is so much more than the cute little girls at the booth selling Thin Mints. These girls are putting a lot of thought into every step of this process.

So why is the $5 box so worth it? Cookie sales are the biggest fundraiser for all troops! The break down is amazing! The cookie baker company receives $1.25 (amounts are approximate). The council and service unit receive $3.05, and individual troops receive 70 cents. Only 25% goes out to a company, and 75% stays right here in our local area to benefit our local youth. That 75% covers financial aid for uniforms, registration fees, camps, activities, events and anything our local girls and leaders need.

Our goal this year is 1,000 boxes per girl. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but these girls are determined to achieve all of their goals. When they sell 200 boxes, their registration fees are paid for the next season 2020/2021. At 500, they will have all their monthly dues covered for the year. And at 700 boxes, the troop will be rewarding the girls with an activity trip. At 1,000 boxes, they will earn an all-inclusive Girl Scout weekend.

Besides personal goals, 878 scouts also have two other goals, “Giving Back” and “Local Heroes.” “Giving Back” will be focused on Webster County Victim Assistance this year. Last year, we were able to contribute to the Marshfield Backpack Program. This year, if each girl hits 1,000 boxes, we are looking at over $1,000 in donation to WCVA!

“Local Heroes” is exactly as it sounds, thanking our local police officers, firefighters, EMT, soldiers, teachers, anyone that our youth looks up to as a hero. Last year our girls gave to teachers, local pastors, firefighters, dispatchers, soldiers, EMT and even unexpecting police officers patrolling areas. This year each scout has a goal of at least 10 donation boxes. So, if your New Year’s resolution has forbidden you from indulging in the sweets of cookies, you can purchase a box or two for a donation, or just drop a dollar in the bucket when you see the booths.

Cookie sales began Friday. We will be out again this weekend scouting neighborhoods for orders. Deliveries will be in around the middle of February. Booth sales will begin Feb. 22. Look for us at the Marshfield Walmart! Remember, 878 is helping to make Marshfield great! Find your local Girl Scout, support and encourage her, and let her know how we can all help one another.

Amy Baker

Troop leader 71878

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